beyond clueless teen movie seesearch

All Those Wasted Hours

Remember high school? The now-outdated hair styles, crispy 90s bangs or garish Y2K highlights, strolling through the hallways, flanked by boys in pleated khakis. The ring of the bell and slam of lockers. That constant confusion that seemed to hang over your every thought and interaction like a smoggy day.

What did those four years of high school really mean? What were we feeling when we were feeling so much? What were we thinking when we were thinking so little? Who were we and how did we finally change? Charlie Lyne’s film, Beyond Clueless (2015), uses clips from teen movies to explore the dynamics of the teenage years, a montage of the

banal and ridiculous to illuminate the struggles associated with growing up.

Though the war was all around us, most of us probably didn’t even understand we were fighting. The juxtaposition between an expertly constructed series of seemingly silly

teen movie clips and real angst somehow helps us see more clearly themes such as “Fitting In” and “Losing Yourself.” The original soundtrack by Summer Camp helps a bit too. Those dumb plots were just as dumb as we once were, but maybe we were all getting at something.


Beyond giving us insight into a time that passed by so quickly, without understanding, Beyond Clueless is an incredible collection of classics: approximately 200 American coming-of-age movies including Mean Girls, The Craft, Can’t Hardly Wait, Disturbing Behavior, and many more that you’ll recognize including some that you missed in favor of your Algebra homework. You’ll definitely recognize the letter jackets, Caboodles, and really bad double-line black eyeliner jobs (even just as you last vintage find). I never had a lot of time for movies, and my high school experience wasn’t exactly traditional, but there was something that resonated in this messy exploration of a messy time.